Wheat Facts

Wheat Facts
Wheat is grain that belongs to the family Poaceae (family of grasses). It originates from Euphrates valley, but it can be found on every continent today. Wheat is part of human diet at least 9000 years. There are over 30 000 varieties of wheat that were produced via cross-breeding of six basic types of the plant. Wheat was initially consumed raw. With advanced technology, people started to grind wheat to produce flour. Wheat represents staple food in most countries in the world and inevitable part of human life. Proteins and starch isolated from wheat have application in numerous industries.
Interesting Wheat Facts:
Size of wheat depends on the variety. Wheat usually reaches 2 to 4 feet in height.
Wheat develops head on a top of the stem which contains around 50 kernels. Color of the kernel depends on the variety of wheat. It can be red, blue, purple, brown or white.
All types of wheat can be divided in two major groups: spring and winter wheat. Spring wheat is planted during the spring and harvested during the summer. Winter wheat is planted at autumn and harvested during the spring.
Wheat is ready for harvest when it becomes golden in color and completely dried out (dead).
Machine (called combine) removes the heads from the stem and separates kernels from the rest of the (inedible) plant material.
One pound of wheat contains 17 000 kernels. Kernels harvested from one acre of wheat can be turned into 1500 loaves of bread.
Kernel consists of three parts: bran (outer layer), endosperm (nutritive matter used for development of embryo) and germ (embryo). Whole wheat flour is produced by grinding of whole kernels (it contains all three parts of the kernel). Production of white flour requires removal of the bran and germ. This type of flour contains less minerals, vitamins and fibers compared to the whole wheat flour.
Wheat is rich source of proteins, sugar (in the form of starch), vitamins of the B group and minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc.
Wheat is used for the production of bread, pasta, cookies, breakfast cereals and fermented beverages.
1% of human population cannot consume wheat-based products due to celiac disease. This disorder results from intolerance to the wheat protein called gluten.
Straws of wheat can be used for roofing, manufacture of hats and baskets.
Wheat starch is used in the industry of paper and plastic bags and for the production of glue, adhesives, textile and building materials.
Hair conditioners, body lotions and lip balms often contain wheat proteins.
Wheat is used in the production of alcoholic beverages such as vodka, gin and whiskey. Ethanol produced from the wheat can be used as bio-fuel.
Wheat is annual plant, which means that it finish its life cycle in one year.


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